TESTING REDUCTION ACT OF 2019.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 621 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 3, 2019
AN ACT TO REDUCE TESTING ADMINISTERED TO STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND TO MAKE VARIOUS TECHNICAL AND CLARIFYING CHANGES RELATED TO EDUCATION LAWS.
Intro. by Tillman, Ballard, Sawyer.

Status: Ch. SL 2019-212 (Sep 4 2019)

SOG comments (1):

Long title change

Conference report changed the long title.  Original title was AN ACT TO REDUCE TESTING ADMINISTERED TO STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

Bill History:

S 621/S.L. 2019-212

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Sep 5 2019 - More information

    AN ACT TO REDUCE TESTING ADMINISTERED TO STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND TO MAKE VARIOUS TECHNICAL AND CLARIFYING CHANGES RELATED TO EDUCATION LAWS. SL 2019-212. Enacted September 4, 2019. Effective September 4, 2019, except as otherwise provided.


  • Summary date: Aug 21 2019 - More information

    Conference report makes the following changes to the 5th edition.

    Part I.

    Now requires the State Board of Education (State Board) to eliminate the use of the NC Final Exam as part of the statewide testing program to assess teacher performance and professional growth beginning with the 2020-21 school year (previously, applicable beginning with the 2019-20 school year). Adds a new directive requiring the State Board and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to submit to the specified NCGA committee a plan on how to use other means to accomplish the purposes for which data is collected by the NC Final Exam, no later than March 15, 2020.

    Part II.

    Eliminates the previous provisions of Part II (directing the State Board to eliminate the use of End-of-Grade tests for grades three through eight and to adopt a policy to require administration of a through-grade assessment model). Instead, provides the following in Part II.

    States the legislative intent to move toward a through-grade assessment model.

    Directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Superintendent) to annually report, beginning November 15, 2020, until November 15, 2024, to the specified NCGA committee regarding the progress of the NC Personalized Assessment pilot. Details eleven required elements of the report, including progress in developing a plan to replace all end-of-course assessments with through-grade assessments for State-mandated high school assessments after the completion of the pilot. Authorizes the State Board and Superintendent to supervise and administer the pilot in fulfillment of the State's Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority granted by the US Department of Education.

    Part III.

    Eliminates the previous provision of Part II (directing the State Board to eliminate the use of End-of-Course tests for grades nine through twelve and to administer a nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness).

    Makes organizational changes to move proposed changes to GS 115C-174.12, regarding the review of local standardized testing, from Part IV to Part III.

    Part IV.

    Makes organizational changes to move the proposed changes in previous Part V to Part IV. Amends GS 115C-12 to allow local boards of education to require their students to complete a high school graduation project as provided in new GS 115C-47(54a) (previously, removed existing language authorizing local boards to require their students to complete a high school graduation project). Amends proposed GS 115C-47(54a) to allow local boards to require a high school graduation project as a condition of graduation if the board provides from local funds a method of reimbursement of up to $75 for related expenses for any student identified as an economically disadvantaged student.

    Part V.

    Maintains the directive set forth in previous Part VI regarding examination of third grade English language arts. 

    Part VI.

    Directs the State Board to determine and analyze the steps necessary to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students. Sets out objectives that must be met by the transition steps. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committee by May 15, 2020.

    Part VII.

    Amends GS 115C-302.4, as amended, to modify the criteria of a high-need retired teacher to include being reemployed by a local board of education to provide classroom instruction as a teacher employed on an annual contract to provide classroom instruction exclusively at (a) high-need school(s) (was, reemployed by a local board to teach at a high-need school).

    Makes conforming changes to GS 135-3, concerning postretirement earnings of a beneficiary of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System, to specify that a beneficiary employed as a high-need teacher, as now defined in GS 115C-302.4, cannot be restored to service as a teacher or employee. Adds a new requirement for a local board to annually inform the Retirement System by September 15 if it will not employ high-need retired teachers for that school year. Establishes that the retirement allowance of a beneficiary who retired on an early or service retirement does not cease due to reemployment as a high-need retired teacher. Makes further technical and clarifying changes.

    Amends Section 5 of SL 2019-110, directing the State Treasurer to seek a private letter ruling from the IRS to determine if the provisions of the act, rather than the section, relating to the computation of postretirement earnings of retired teachers jeopardize the status of the Retirement System. Makes conforming changes. Adds that if the private letter ruling determines the Retirement System to be in jeopardy by the computation, the entire act, rather than the section, is repealed on the last day of the month following the month of receipt (was, 30 days from receipt) of that determination by the State Treasurer. Repeals Part VII of this act if SL 2019-110 is repealed pursuant to the provisions of Section 5 of that act. Repeals Section 38.25 of HB 966 (Appropriations Act of 2019), concerning high-need retired teachers, if that bill becomes law. 

    Effective July 1, 2019, and expires June 30, 2021.

    Part VIII.

    Amends GS 115C-270.15, as amended by Section 1.1 of SL 2019-71, concerning teacher examination requirements for initial professional licenses (IPLs). Expands the statute's provisions to apply to a residency license (RL).

    Amends GS 115C-270.20(a)(4a), as enacted by Section 2.1 of SL 2019-71, concerning a limited license. Amends the criteria for in-state licensees to receive a limited license, now requiring the individual to have been issued an IPL or RL and having failed to fulfill the examination requirements under GS 115C-270.15, as amended, after three years of licensure. 

    Deems a lateral entry licensee to meet the limited license criteria set forth in GS 115C-270.20(a)(4a), as amended, if two criteria are met: (1) the individual would have been issued a continuing professional license (CPL) but for the failure to fulfill examination requirements set by the State Board and (2) the local board of education submits to the State Board an affidavit, signed by the appropriate principal and superintendent, stating the teacher is currently employed by that local board, is an effective teacher, and will be encouraged to continue to pursue a CPL (similar to the in-state licensee limited license criteria).

    Amends Section 1.2 of SL 2019-71 to now grant an extension until June 30, 2020, for elementary education or special education general curriculum teachers with an IPL, lateral entry license, or residency license set to expire June 30, 2019, due to failure to fulfill licensure examination requirements, effective June 30, 2019 (previously, was limited to only IPLs set to expire and did not include an effective date). 

    Amends Section 1.3 of SL 2019-71, adding that GS 115C-270.15(c), as amended (which requires the State Board to permit an applicant to fulfill exam requirements before or during the third year of IPL licensure so long as the applicant took the exam at least once during the first year of licensure), applies to individuals holding an IPL on or after the date that act became law.

    Amends Section 6 of SL 2019-71, making SL 2019-71 apply beginning with the eighteenth day following the date that act became law (was, beginning with applications for teacher licensure submitted on or after the eighteenth date following the effective date of the act).

    Applies to individuals holding or seeking licensure on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Part IX.

    Maintains the act's effective date provisions.

    Makes conforming changes to the act's long title.


  • Summary date: Jul 10 2019 - More information

    House amendment to the 4th edition makes the following changes. 

    Part II. Replace EOGs with Through-Grade Assessment Model Similar to NC Check-Ins

    Amends the effective date to make Part II applicable beginning with testing administered for the 2023-24 school year instead of the 2022-23 school year. 


  • Summary date: Jul 8 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes. 

    Part II. Replace EOGs with Through-Grade Assessment Model Similar to NC Check-Ins

    Provides that if SB 500 (Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment) of the 2019 Regular Session becomes law, the proposed changes to GS 115C-81.36 are repealed, and instead amends GS 115C-81.36, as amended by SB 500, as follows. Requires that any student scoring at the highest level on the State-mandated test (rather than the end-of-grade test) in math in grades three through five be provided advanced learning opportunities in math for the next school year. Also requires, when advanced math courses are offered in grades six and higher, any student scoring at a the highest level on the State-mandated test that denotes superior command of knowledge and skill for math (rather than a specified level on the end-of-grade or end-of-course test) be enrolled in the advanced course for the next math course in which the student is enrolled; makes the same changes for seventh grade students whose next level course will be at a high school level. Prohibits removal of a qualifying student without written consent of the student's parent or guardian who has been adequately informed that the student's placement was determined by the student's achievement in the previous math course (rather than on the end-of-grade or end-of-course test). Applies beginning with testing administered for the 2022-23 school year.


  • Summary date: Jun 25 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes. 

    Makes organizational changes to the act. 

    Part I. Eliminate NC Final Exam

    Eliminates the proposed directive requiring the State Board of Education (State Board) and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to submit a plan to the NCGA by March 15, 2020, on how to use other means to accomplish the same purposes for which data is collected by the NC Final Exam.

    Part II. Replace EOGs with Through-Grade Assessment Model Similar to NC Check-Ins

    Requires the State Board to eliminate the use of End-of-Grade (EOG) tests for grades three through eight, and instead adopt a policy to require administration of a through-grade assessment model with three interim assessments similar to NC Check-Ins, as specified. Provides for the average of the combined scores for two of the through-grade assessments to constitute the annual assessment for grades three through eight, with all annual assessment provisions set forth in Subchapter IV of GS Chapter 115C applicable to this average score. Further requires the State Board to develop through-grade assessments for science for grades five and eight, and for reading for grade three. Allows a third grade student who fails to demonstrate reading proficiency (demonstrated by the averaged score of relevant through-grade assessments for reading) to retake the third through-grade assessment for reading prior to the end of the school year, and to have the readministered score be used for purposes of demonstrating reading proficiency. Allows continued application and use of policies regarding participation in the NCEXTEND1 alternative assessment as prior to the enactment of the act. Directs the State Board to review and revise existing testing security policies to provide for as secure a testing environment as required by federal law or condition of a federal grant, and no more than required for federal compliance. Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-105.41 and GS 115C-276 to eliminate references to EOGs and End-of-Course (EOC) tests (also directed to be eliminated by the act).

    Amends GS 115C-81.36, concerning advanced courses in mathematics, as follows. Requires, when advanced math courses are offered, any student scoring at a level that denotes superior command of knowledge and skill (rather than a specified level on the end-of-grade or end-of grade test) for math to be enrolled in the advanced course for the next math course in which the student is enrolled; makes the same changes for seventh grade students whose next level course will be at a high school level. 

    Part III. Replace EOCs with the Act or Other Nationally Recognized Assessment of High School Achievement and College Readiness

    Directs the State Board to eliminate use of End-of-Course (EOC) tests for grades nine through 12 and instead use the nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness, or an alternate assessment, administered to all students in eleventh grade pursuant to specified law, as amended, as the State-mandated testing for grades nine through 12 required by specified state law. Allows continued application and use of policies regarding participation in the NCEXTEND1 alternative assessment as prior to the enactment of the act. Effective January 1, 2020, and applies beginning with testing administered for the 2020-21 school year. 

    Amends GS 115C-83.15 and GS 115C-83.16 to eliminate references to specific EOCs, and instead refer to specific subtests of a nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness for the calculation of school achievement scores and school performance indicators for schools serving any students in grades nine through 12. Effective January 1, 2021, and applies beginning with school performance grades issued based on data from the 2020-21 school year.

    Amends GS 115C-174.11 to require the State Board to adopt a nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness to provide to local school administrative units, regional schools, and charter schools to administer to all students (previously, required, to the extent of available funds, the adoption of a nationally norm-referenced college admissions test to administer to eleventh grade students). Requires administration of an alternate test to students in accordance with federal law (previously, specified three criteria for qualification of alternate testing). Eliminates the provisions regarding parental notice of college admissions tests and precursor tests. Makes conforming and clarifying changes. Effective January 1, 2020, and applies beginning with testing administered for the 2020-21 school year. 

    Makes conforming changes to GS 116-11 regarding standardized high school transcripts. Effective July 1, 2020, and applies beginning with students entering their junior year in the 2020-21 school year.

    Part V. Prohibit Graduation Projects as a Condition of Graduation

    Amends GS 115C-12 and GS 115C-47 to prohibit local boards of education from requiring students to complete a high school graduation project as a condition of high school graduation. Further specifies in GS 115C-47 that requirements for graduation must be connected only to the completion of required courses. Applies beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

    Makes conforming changes.


  • Summary date: Apr 17 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. 

    Amends proposed GS 115C-174.12(d1) by amending the second condition under which the local board of education is required to submit a plan to eliminate certain local standardized testing, to be when the number of hours required for students to complete the test exceeds the State average (was, State combined average) over the prior two-year period. Adds a requirement that the State Board of Education waive the requirement that a local board develop and submit a plan if the Board finds that the local board has made significant progress toward reducing local testing to the State average. Changes the effective date of the changes to GS 115C-174.12 so that they apply beginning with reports issued in 2020 based on data from the 2019-20 school year. 


  • Summary date: Apr 8 2019 - More information

    Directs the State Board of Education (BOE) to eliminate the use of the NC Final Exam, used as part of statewide testing to assess teacher performance, and prohibits the exam's use for any other purpose.  Requires the BOE and Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to submit no later than March 15, 2020, to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee (JLEOC) a plan on how to use other means to accomplish the purposes for which data is collected by the Final Exam.

    Amends GS 115C-174.12 by adding new subsection (d1) directing local boards of education in even-numbered years to review local standardized testing in order to determine the number of tests administered to students and the number of hours required to complete the tests.  If the number of tests or hours exceeds the State combined average for the prior two-year period, the local board of education must submit to DPI and BOE by October 1 of that year a plan to eliminate some testing to reduce the number of tests or hours below the State average. 

    Amends subsection (e) by requiring the BOE to include in its annual report to the JLEOC a summary of any local plans pursuant to subsection (d1).  Amends subsection (e1) (directing DPI to publish information online) by creating new subdivisions (1), with existing text reqarding a uniform calendar with State-required testing and reporting results of tests and (2) adding a new requirement for the publication of local standardized testing information as detailed in this subsection.

    Requires DPI to examine the End-of-Grade English Language Arts assessment administered in the third grade as compared to the Read to Achieve alternative assessment to determine whether the former should be modified to better meet the goals of the latter (as set forth in GS Chapter 115C, Article 8, Part 1A).  Directs DPI to make modifications and to report to the JLEOC no later than March 15, 2020, on its work in this area.

    The statutory amendments apply beginning with the 2020-21 school year; the remainder of this act is effective upon becoming law.

     


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